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Are medical expenses tax deductible? Generally yes, under 2 conditions

If you were burdened by sizable medical bills or health expenses during 2020, there may be some financial relief available to you come tax season.

Some medical expenses are tax deductible, under two general conditions:
 
  • Your qualifying medical expenses for the year exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), which is your gross income less any above-the-line deductions, AND
  • You itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction.
If you file jointly with your spouse and/or claim dependents, typically everyone's medical expenses can be combined.

Tax deductions reduce your taxable income and lower your overall tax liability. While items like student loan interest and IRAcontributions can be deducted from your gross income without itemization, medical and dental expenses require that you itemize your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A.

As far as what qualifies as medical? The IRS says "payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body."

Here's a list of some common qualifying medical expenses (for an exhaustive list, see the IRS website):
 

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